Abuja, Nov. 9, 2023: The Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) has entered into partnership with some stakeholders to strengthen interventions to promote food safety in Nigeria.
Dr Tayo Aduloju, NESG Chief Executive Officer-designate, in a statement on Thursday, said the partnership would be between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
According to him, the just concluded workshop on “Food and Feed Expertise Coordination” targets high-level officials and technical experts from the Nigerian food industry and regulatory bodies.
Aduloju said Nigeria’s commitment to uphold the highest food safety standards was paramount to its wellbeing and progress.
He said the country had over 70 million hectares of agricultural land-a massive potential for economic growth and development.
Aduloju said that effective regulatory, institutional and policy framework was needed for agriculture to thrive.
According to him, the private sector plays a crucial role in the agricultural value chain, enhancing productivity, opening markets, and attracting investment.
“Frameworks that address the gaps in food and feed safety systems will not only improve the well-being of citizens, but also impact Nigeria’s position in international trade.
“To benefit effectively from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA), reforming food and feed safety systems in Nigeria is inevitable,’’ he said.
The statement quotes the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, as saying that deliberate efforts were being made to ensure that the country attains the required National Health Security status.
Pate noted that the ministry would validate the revised National Policy on Food Safety and Quality and its Implementation Plan 2023 and also launch the first National Integrated Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Surveillance and Response.
“The revised policy will look at new and emerging areas that will improve the regulatory, enforcement and data-gathering system to ensure it is more effective, efficient, and robust,’’ Pate said.
He, however, said his ministry prioritised food safety as a serious element of public health that required concerted efforts.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three-day food safety expertise workshop builds on 2022 Food and Feed Safety Transformation Dialogue – where stakeholders tasked the government to pass the National Food Safety and Quality Bill into law.
This, they say is important to the health and wellbeing of Nigerians.